Turkish intelligence to oversee PKK retreat, deputy PM says

Turkish intelligence to oversee PKK retreat, deputy PM says

ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish intelligence to oversee PKK retreat, deputy PM says

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. AA photo

Turkey’s intelligence service will oversee the withdrawal of outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants as part of the ongoing efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said.

“Certainly Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency [MİT] will oversee it; security forces will take part in it, too,” Arınç told state-run broadcaster TRT on April 1 night, according to Anatolia news agency.

“No doubt, members of the Turkish Armed Forces will have a role in the retreat if they are assigned to such a duty during this process; however, this is the duty of the government,” he said.

Arınç said no legislation would be introduced to facilitate the withdrawal. “One side says there should be legislation. No, there won’t be legislation, because this is not the duty of Parliament. I will state simply that when they infiltrated the country, did they find any legal basis and infiltrate upon that? And, is that why they ask for a legal basis when they retreat? No. Second, I hope they will not be angry with me, but some people persistently say, ‘legislation should form a basis for us’ and that would mean indirectly: ‘Make us a political actor.’ If this organization were to be addressed in a law and become a political actor in that act, that would bring legitimacy.’ This is what lies behind that persistence.”

Meanwhile, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Gültan Kışanak said there were many methods that could applied under the roof of Parliament to legally strengthen the process, noting that none of the methods would violate the Constitution.

“We are trying to understand the concerns created among the public by the speeches of Mr. Prime Minister, who is in the mood to be the sole director of the process. This process is a multilateral one,” Kışanak said, while underlining the need to have a wise persons’ commission that would represent a broad segment of society.

Kışanak also said the BDP would hold France responsible if it failed to shed light on the murders of three female Kurdish activists on Jan. 9 in Paris while further criticizing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli for “irresponsible” remarks delivered during a recent rally in Bursa.